Vincent Purcell Violins

Vincent Purcell Violins


Old Violins have over 25 years of experience making, restoring and repairing old and antique Violins, Violas, Cello’s and Double Bass.

Repair and Restoration

Our expertise is in ensuring that everything we do is sympathetic to the sound quality of the instrument, we are used to dealing with old and antique instruments and our workmanship is to a very high standard. We have repaired instruments for professional classical orchestral players and for jazz musicians, folk musicians and session players. We understand that for a professional musician timing is crucial – we are based on the South Coast of England very near Brighton, which is about an hour from central London by train so very convenient for musicians who are part of a touring orchestra. If you are on tour and have an urgent repair we can often help – so please do get in touch.

Repairing and re-hairing bows

We restore and re-hair bows to a high standard using only the finest Mongolian horsehair. Double bass bows are usually re-haired with black hair which is more coarse for connecting with the larger strings.

Our expertise

Our expertise in old and antique stringed instrument repair includes:

We treat all instruments with respect and enjoy working to achieve the best result with patience and the best materials. So if you have an instrument that you have inherited or been given why not talk to us about how we can take a once loved instrument and return it to its former glory.

If you are looking to get your instrument repaired, then please get in touch on 0774 856 4410 or alternatively you can use our contact form on the contact page.

Some Of Our Repairs:

bass bar fitted in old French violin circa 1800

Sat 29 Jun 2019

Fitting a bass bar is one of the most difficult tasks on a violin. The fit has to be perfect across all the curves. The glue has to be new and correctly heated. It also has to be fluid and not thick. The glue is not visible after fitting.

The shape of the bar depends on the shape of the violin. This old post revolution French violin is high arched so the shape of the bass bar complements this feature. Higher arched instruments are capable of taking more downward pressure than flatter models.

bass bar fitted in old French violin circa 1800 bass bar fitted in old French violin circa 1800

Fri 21 Sep 2018

A difficult double bass repair, broken at neck with not much gluing surface. This repair required hidden supports and wood graft.


cramped with old cramps
repair completed
Happy owner re-united after bass stays in concert pitch for 10 days!

Herbie Flowers double bass

Mon 20 Aug 2018

This is the bass on which Herbie Flowers wrote the famous ‘walk on the wild side’ bass part. As a session musician at the time in 1972 Herbie was paid £17  for this timeless classic. He said that he overdubbed electric bass guitar to increase the fee to £34. Herbie is a great musician and wonderful person.

Here I am putting a stream of lights inside the double bass to do some internal repairs.

Herbie Flowers double bass

fitting a bass bar in old English violin

Tue 10 Jan 2017

Fitting a bass bar is one of the most difficult tasks in violin making. There must be no glue visible after fitting. Here we have the completed bar fitted in an English violin from around 1800. The structure is essentially a triangle with highest point under the bridge area but the finished curves are moving and elegant

fitting a bass bar in old English violin

broken scroll

Fri 9 Dec 2016

Always insure your violin. This was accidental damage but can be caused by ill fitting pegs. All fixed and playing nicely now.

broken scroll

bass bow re-hair

Thu 26 May 2016

Double bass bows are often re-haired with black hair which is more coarse than most white hair

bass bow re-hair bass bow re-hair

Gavinies violin

Sun 23 Nov 2014

Greetings from the violin workshop. Today we are cleaning and restoring the varnish on a violin by Gavinies, Paris 1770.

Gavinies violin
Gavinies violin, made in Paris in 1770.

In the workshop today…

Thu 17 Jul 2014

In the Violin workshop today we have an English violin by Joseph Hill, here is it is next to a huge double bass bridge. We also have a lot a of horse hair ready to be put on bows. And a tiny weeny planer on a Gabrielli copy violin being made…

Click thumbnails for full-size images

Double Bass Repair

Wed 19 Mar 2014

Lots of double bass repairs—they are always falling over!
Here is a before and after job with the happy owner.

Double Bass Repair Double Bass Repair